PCL delists from London Stock Exchange

Conglomerate Press Corporation plc has delisted from the London Stock Exchange (LSE) as a global depository receipt following a review of continued benefits of listing on the bourse.

PCL board chairperson Patrick Khembo announced the development during the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)-listed firm’s annual general meeting (AGM) held virtually on Friday due to Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

He said the firm delisted on LSE on July 10 2020.

Said Khembo: “The board took the decision following a careful and thorough assessment of the benefits of our continued listing on the London Stock Exchange.

“The factors that were considered included the extremely low trading volumes for the past years, huge regulatory, compliance and administrative costs the company incurs annually and the likely liquidity benefits that a cancellation could trigger on the local market.”

He said the board decided that the cancellation will not adversely affect its shareholders since the firm’s common shares will continue to be listed and tradeable on MSE.

PCL was the only firm in the country which was dual-listed on both MSE and LSE as a global depository receipt which is a general name for a depository receipt where a certificate issued by a depository bank, which purchases shares of foreign companies, creates a security on a local exchange backed by those shares.

During the AGM, PCL also announced a group profit after-tax of K24.76 billion for the year-ended December 31 2019 which is below prior year’s profit of K36.71 billion, representing a 33 percent decline.

Khembo said excluding exceptional K8.86 billion profit on restructuring the telecoms segment in the prior year and one-off expenses relating to restructuring costs in subsidiary companies National Bank of Malawi plc (K892 million), TNM plc (K1.02 billion) and Ethanol Company (K450 million), the decline in underlying profit is three percent.

He also said PCL remained resilient and enhanced shareholder value with the share price increasing by 27 percent from K1 100 to K1 400.

“Once again, our management team demonstrated remarkable flexibility and professionalism in how they adjusted the operating strategies to suit the post-election environment,” said Khembo.

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